Radiology is the medical use of imaging for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions of the body. The equipment used for creating the images is typically not handled by the radiologist, but by a technician called a radiologic technologist. However, it is the radiologist who analyzes the images and diagnoses the problem and makes decision about the treatment. Radiology is also used in minimally invasive medical procedures in order to guide the doctor or surgeon.
There are several techniques for imaging and the radiologist selects the one that’s best suited for the specific situation of each patient. The most common ones are:
- X-rays: X-rays are images created through electromagnetic radiation.
- Ultrasound: Ultrasound is the common name of ultrasonography, which is the use of oscillating sound pressure waves in order to create images of subcutaneous body structures. It is a very common method used to examine the fetus of a pregnant woman.
- Computed Tomography (CT): A technique that uses x-rays to create images of several layers or levels of a body organ. It is particularly useful in preparing a plan for a surgery.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A technique that scans magnetic fields and radio waves to form images of the body.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET): A technique that produces three-dimensional images through the indirect emission of gamma rays.
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